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Brightcove: Online Video Discovery Shifting From Search To Social Media

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Even in the depths of the recession, online video ad growth continued to surge by double digits. Spending is still expected to rise robustly over the next few years, but a report from cloud-based online video platform Brightcove and video analytics provider TubeMogul, the sites that have been benefiting from the online video’s growth could change. Not surprisingly, Facebook emerges as a key traffic driver for online video, with Twitter another major avenue for viewers. Referral traffic for online video from Facebook and Twitter is actually growing faster than referrals from traditional search engines. At current growth rates, Facebook will surpass Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) within the year to be the second only to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) for video referral traffic, the report finds.

In addition, referral traffic from Facebook and Twitter lead to the longest viewing times, while the video views that originate from Yahoo search and display ads tied
for shortest.

For years, one of the few things that newspapers have had to brag about is their early focus on adding online video as a major part of their content. Local broadcasters have tended to lag in those efforts, both despite and because of the fact that video was their business.

As a result, Brightcove and Tubemogul say broadcast networks have the smallest percentage of video content viewed through embedded players on third-party websites. Newspapers, on the other hand, have the highest percentage of off-site viewing.

Print favors online video: Print publishers have seen their ad levels suffer more than broadcast, so the move to online video was rooted in survival, while broadcasters were more worried about cannibalization. That helps explain why for the third consecutive quarter, newspaper and magazine websites featured a larger number of videos than any other media vertical. In Q2, newspaper websites generated 2.3 billion player loads, up 12 percent from Q1 and nearly 40 percent compared to Q2 of last year. Magazine websites generated 1.3 billion player loads in Q2, a similar volume of player loads compared to Q1, but up 38 percent compared to Q2 of last year, the report said. In general, media companies’ online video had an average completion rate of 38 percent per video view. Magazine website and online-only media companies had the highest overall completion rates per video view.

Broadcast video loads plunge: In the meantime, during the same period, broadcast networks generated 685 million player loads, up four percent versus Q1. While slightly up in Q2, the player load number represents a decline of almost 60 percent versus the same quarter last year. The decrease could be related to what Brightcove and Tubemogul say is a trend toward portal and aggregated video player viewing around longer-form content, as compared to the distributed, contextual and short-form nature of video content in the editorial and website strategies represented by newspapers, magazines and other media industry segments. The full report is available here.

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